Thursday, July 28

for the bible tells me so

some days i think it's time to start teaching hiba and matthias bible stories. this may come to a shock to some of you that our kids are 3 and almost 2 and don't know a lot of bible stories. we aren't bad parents. or heathens. i promise. but we just haven't ever put a lot of emphasis on teaching bible stories to them. we pray, we talk about Jesus, they know the Lord's prayer, but we don't really read Bible books. we also go to a rather non-traditional church that has a pretty non-traditional children's ministry idea, so they don't always get the basics there.

actually, they do get the basics there. they have learned that God is love. that we are to love the poor and help the needy. that actions speak louder than words. that evil will be defeated by good. that God is always with them, even when it doesn't feel like it and it doesn't make sense. they see people living lives that reflect Jesus in their everyday life.

but i don't think they know the story of noah and the ark.

which brings me to my current life dilemma. i love Jesus. i believe He is the Son of God. i believe the Bible is the word of God.

but i have a really hard time with a lot of the Bible. especially the old testament. which is where i feel like a lot of kids Bible stories come from. i know that the stories teach basic principles about the nature of God, his provision and love for His people. but i have a hard time with the stories.

take david and goliath. it's a great story about how trusting in God is the way to go, not relying on your own strength. great. that is something that i want hiba and matthias to know and to live by. it is a good lesson and i totally agree that it needs to be taught. but maybe by a different story. because here is the end of the story, from the NIV:

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp. (1 Sam 17:48 - 53)

um. ok. how do you make that into a veggietales movie? or a coloring page? or a cute little story book? you don't. because it is graphic. and horrible. and hard to read. and definitely hard to explain to little kids. and this is just one example. the Bible is full of stories like this. horrible, violent, graphic stories about thing that people did in the name of God, with God on their side. and i'm just not sure what to do with that.

i have a hard time with these being taught to kids, because they are all watered down. the bad parts are taken out, the heroic parts are left in, and the whole story is boiled down to a 25 minute cartoon with catchy songs or a colorful story-book. and that's not reality.

reality is that understanding God is hard. reality is that the israelites did some pretty horrible things. reality is that people still do pretty horrible things in the name of God. reality is that there seems to be a disconnect between the God of the old testament and the Jesus of the new testament. and reality is that even things in the new testament aren't as pretty and simple as we make them out to be.

but reality is also that God is love. God is good. faith is hard. Jesus is our example. following Him is difficult, confusing, messy. and it is not simple.

so maybe i'll hold off on the bible stories. maybe i'll keep trying to live a life that reflects Jesus and His love. maybe i'll keep surrounding my kids with people who love them and love Jesus. and i'll just have faith that it will be enough.

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